“Live 1984 Stardust Ballroom” by Samhain

Artist: Samhain
Title: “Live 1984 Stardust Ballroom”
Label: Music Video Distributors
Release Date: 10/25/2005
Genre: Punk Rock
Rating: 6.5/10

Glen Danzig had left the Punk Rock force that was the Misfits and formed Samhain. This footage is taken from a Stardust Ballroom performance in 1984. It is one of those things that are more important historically than for quality’s sake. Filmed by Al Flipside (from the Hardcore/Punk magazine Flipside) it captures Danzig and his band mates at their Punk best. Samhain walked a little closer to the material that Glen would later do in Danzig than the Punk that was focused on in the Misfits. Punk in design yet leaning a little more to the Hard Rock and Metal scene that was beginning to form. There is no elaborate stage setting and this is strictly a concert video recording. The camera angles and sound are not that great but it is a cool piece of Danzig history that merits observation. This was the bands first L.A. Show so is very raw in nature. To my knowledge there is not a lot of other performance footage from this band available to the general public. Whether you recall loving or hating them they did have a fan base and many of them carried over to Danzig’s solo material. In 1984 this scene was still very strong and overall this documents it as best as the means allowed. The members of Samhain were Glen Danzig (vocals) and Eerie Von (bassist), Steve Zing (drums) and Damien (guitar) and it was probably one of the first bands to introduce a Gothic-edge to Punk music. I enjoyed seeing Damien playing an axe-guitar like the one Gene Simmons uses as a bass.

I was never more than a casual fan of both Misfits and Samhain and lean towards Glen’s solo efforts more yet I do note the contributions this band made and the impact it had on the respective genre. It was fun to see the security guys doing all they could to keep the audience at bay while Glen prowled the stage. He is exactly the same over 20 years later on tour; a true front man. I was disappointed in the lack of any bonus material on the release. A discography or biography could have been included or perhaps some archival or new interview commentary. Punk historians are best served by this DVD, or die-hard Glen Danzig, Misfits, Samhain fans. A casual fan might like one or two tracks at best but not appreciate the limited production. While there are 15 songs, the DVD holds at a little over 45 minutes in length.

Song Listing:
1. Samhain
2. All Murder, All Guts, All Fun
3. Macabre
4. Die, Die, My Darling
5. The Shift
6. The Howl
7. Black Dream
8. I Am Misery
9. Halloween II
10. The Hungry End
11. Unholy Passion
12. Horror Biz
13. He Who Cannot Be Named
14. Archangel
15. Moribund

Official Web site: http://www.danzig-verotik.com/

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